June 19th, 2012
02:14 PM ET

What Sandusky has said about child rape allegations

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky - on trial this week on child rape allegations - has made many public comments about the case, including that while he may have "horsed around" with boys, he's innocent of the charges.

The comments came in the months before the trial - including a newly released, previously un-aired excerpt from a November NBC interview in which he said, while explaining that he had helped many young people through a charity he founded, that he "didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped."

The trial began last week with the testimony of eight men who accuse him of sexually abusing them when they were boys. Over four days, several testified that Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts with him in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches' locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.

Sandusky, who has pleaded not guilty, has admitted showering with boys - some of whom he allegedly met through the charity he created for underprivileged children - but denies the child-sex accusations.

Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial:

Aired portions of NBC interview: I 'horsed around,' but am innocent

On November 14 - days after a graphic 23-page grand jury report detailing some of the allegations was released - Sandusky told NBC's Bob Costas in a phone interview that he was "innocent" of the charges and claimed that the only thing he did wrong was having "showered with those kids."

“I say that I am innocent of those charges,” Sandusky told Costas during the interview, which was aired on NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams."

Costas pressed. "Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?" Costas said.

Sandusky responded: “I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have touched their leg - without intent of sexual contact.”

Costas also asked: "Are you sexually attracted to underage boys?"

Sandusky repeated the question, paused, and responded, "No. I enjoy young people."

Asked if then-head football coach Joe Paterno had ever spoken to him about his behavior or expressed disapproval, Sandustry said simply, "No."

See a timeline of the allegations

Sandusky also flatly denied a specific allegation that then-Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in 2002 in a Penn State locker room shower area. Sandusky said instead that he and the boy were in the shower, "snapping towels" and engaging in horseplay.

And asked if he felt guilty over the fallout that has affected the university and prominent university figures including Paterno, who was fired in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Sandusky responded, "I don't think it was my fault. I obviously played a part in this ... I shouldn't have showered with those kids. That's what hits me the most."

New excerpt: I didn't 'seek out every young person for sexual needs'

In June, NBC reported that the prosecution had subpeoneaed a previously unaired portion of Costas' November interview with Sandusky.

Here is a transcript of that excerpt:

Costas: "So it’s entirely possible that you could have helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable, while horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E. Isn’t that possible?"

Sandusky: “Well, you might think that. I don’t know. In terms of my relationship with so many, many young people, I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward - many more young people who would come forward - and say that my methods and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life.

“And I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped. There are many that I didn’t have - hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.”

It's not clear whether the excerpt will be played for jurors.

New York Times interview: Trying to clarify position toward youths

In an interview with The New York Times published December 3, Sandusky attempted to clarify how he feels about his relationships with young people.

"If I say, 'No, I'm not attracted to young boys,' that's not the truth," Sandusky said. "Because I'm attracted to young people - boys, girls - I ..."

His lawyer, who was present at the interview, spoke up at that point to note that Sandusky is "not sexually" attracted to them.

"Right. I enjoy, that's what I was trying to say, I enjoy spending time with young people. I enjoy spending time with people," Sandusky continued. "I mean my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young."

According to the Times story, Sandusky stressed that he and Paterno never discussed the allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I don't know that he didn't know," he told the newspaper. "I know that he never said anything to me. I know that."

The Times interview with Sandusky honed in on two separate allegations of misconduct in 1998 and 2002.

When Sandusky retired in December 1999, an investigation of his alleged actions a year before had never been made public, but were later detailed in the grand jury's report.

Sandusky told the Times that Tim Curley, Penn State's athletic director at the time, confronted him about the alleged misconduct.

"He was concerned about it," he told the newspaper. "He was coming to me with a concern because, in his words, somebody had talked to him about inappropriate behavior in the shower."

Sandusky said he responded by saying "it didn't happen."

"In my mind, there wasn't inappropriate behavior," he said.

The former coach said Curley then told him that "he didn't want me to bring kids (into university facilities) and work them out anymore," according to the interview.

But, he told the Times, Curley never commandeered his keys to the facility.

"And I still went in there and worked out," the former coach said.

The four-hour interview was conducted at the home of his lawyer over two days, where he insisted that his decades of work with troubled youths as part of his charity the Second Mile had been "twisted" by prosecutors.

"They've taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever," Sandusky said. "I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all."

February: Sandusky objects to house arrest restrictions

On February 10, Sandusky publicly objected to some of the restrictions of his house arrest while he awaited trial. Those restrictions included no contact with his 11 grandchildren.

After attending a court hearing seeking relief from those restrictions, Sandusky addressed reporters.

"Friends who call me and who want to be with me, who want to see me, and I have to say, 'No, I can’t,' and they ask why," Sandusky said. "So I asked (my attorney Joe Amendola) why, and that’s why he brought it up.

"Or when I had a wife who came home after visiting with grandchildren, or was sitting there when grandchildren call (on) my birthday and they asked to talk to me, and she has to tell them that they can’t, I’m sensitive to that. Or when she comes home from visiting with grandchildren and tells me that one of them said that, 'The only thing I want for my birthday is to see Pop,' I’m sensitive to that. And that’s why I came today."

A judge later ruled that Sandusky could visit with some of his grandchildren. The judge also ruled that Sandusky would be allowed to have visits from adult friends and to leave his home for meetings with attorneys and private investigators aiding in his defense, provided that a probation coordinator approved.

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Filed under: College football • Courts • Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Justice • Penn State • Pennsylvania
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Just Me

    I second that Tek. I understand the misspellings, bad grammar, incomplete sentences etc. don't change the facts of the story, but they do reduce the credibility of the reporter and their organization. You likely have a Journalism degree eh? To be writing for CNN I would assume some formal education in a media-related field was required. I am sooooo sick of seeing news articles with multiple errors, especially when I'm just a marginally educated hick. Whatever happened to attention to detail and pride in your work?
    And Really?, it was a missing K, an added R and an added T, to the name of the person whom the story is about. Another sloppy comment by a sloppy drone.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Buffy Singleton

      I agree!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Really??

      Well, I guess this "sloppy drone" has more intelligence than you, as I knew who they were referring to. Perhaps you'd better get your little cape out and look for this evil "Sandustry" that Costas was interviewing. Oh, and quit your pompous whining, while you're at it. It was a typo. Get over it! Did it throw you off the whole story? Really??

      June 20, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • WOW

      You got nothing else from this story but zeroing in on a typo? Shallow.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Buffy Singleton

    I think Sandusky's response to Costas should have been an ADAMANT NO! To me, the answer to "Are you attracted to young boys?" doesn't require any type of "spin" answer!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Melinda

      Exactly. Someone asks me that, I don't need to think it over, repeat the question or clarify ANYTHING about it.. For those of us who are not pedophiles, the answer is a plain old NO.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AreYouSerious

      Agreed 100%! Only those who have something to hide, refuse to answer a question directly.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. thomas

    sandusky will walk a free man....no one on that jury is going to send him to prison.......you heard an exculsive right here......no way he's convicted..........

    June 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AreYouSerious

    Sickening, simply sickening! He was definately protected by the "look the other way" philosophy. Just goes to show, you can do what you want if you are a well-to-do sports hero. I wonder if they are going to use "if the glove doesn't fit" defense in their closing arguments. Sandusky and all who knew about the abuse and did nothing to protect the children should be executed right on the Penn State property!

    June 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cindy

    Showering with boys? What a sicko. Lock him up along with the other sickies, who failed to turn him in, inorder to advance their careers, and throw away the key. I hope he has never tried anything with the grand kids, he loves so much. It sounds like this man has a sick history, and more victims may be speaking out.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. riamb60

    Second Mile youth program serves as many as 100.000 children a year.
    Sandusky had his picks, a constant flow to fulfill his needs.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bobby

    General population for this piece of garbage and if he last a week, bring in the chair...

    June 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Obama Mama

    He is going to jail. There is a pattern to his behavior. Too many young men to be coincidence. Law of number. It just makes me sick to think there may be more who are suffering in silence.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. khazle

    Sandusky is guilty. If he isn't found guilty, no one will ever come forward with their suffering at the hands of molesters. The jury is stacked with Penn State employees. How fair is that to the victims? I used to think Penn State was an exceptional school. Now, I wouldn't let my child attend there. There is no protection at that place!

    June 21, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jimtherunner

    Sandusky will be acquitted or convicted on some minor charge. He is a sicko, and he is lying to cover it up - including to our courts, which is supposed to be a crime all by itself although every adult knows it is ALWAYS safer to lie than to tell the truth. This is a real sad commentary on our country and a dark day for pedophile victims – like they haven't suffered enough.

    June 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jerry

    I can't see the Jury taking long to come to a verdict but than again juries sometimes surprise you

    June 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny B

      You called it Jerry!

      June 23, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • D W

      I hear a lot of anger. Whether he is guilty or not-Dont judge lest ye be judged yourself. I am an abuse victim. These people need help. Help that should of been there long before these incidents occured. I was abused in 1960, and that person needed help then and its still not available in 2012???? What does that say about our society??

      July 12, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. jay

    No matter our opinions we all get to wait and and allow the 12 chosen jury members to make their decision. Guilty is what it should be but you never know. Regarding the stuff about Paterno knowing or not knowing – Ladies and Gentlemen it all of this is true (which I think it is) it is all about the MONEY – football programs bring the $$$$$$$ into colleges and so nobody was going to rock that boat just to protect children. I truly believe that anything could happen and not one person in power at any college or university would ever challenge the guilty if they truly believe they can cover up the crime!

    June 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      But it is a State College. They have requirements to meet.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sherelm

    Remember OJ? He was guilty as sin. I put nothing past any jury or anything. I'm 'holding my breath that this is over, and his sorry face goes away for a very long time.

    June 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      oj wasn't guilty...his son did it, and he covered up for his son, please don't compare this monster to OJ...the state of Cali. messed the OJ case up had nothing to do with the jurors, they needed to find him GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt and they didn't ..CASE CLOSED on OJ!

      June 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sherelm

    The scariest thing for me is that if he walks, it will be a free ticket for other sports figures/coaches/anyone to not fear trial for molestation.

    June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Humbly

    I have to wonder if Old Jerry will try to flee the country once the verdict is returned. Or maybe hell go on a low speed OJ chase!

    June 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatahit

      A not-guilty verdict will say to young people that they will not be believed and they will not come forward.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • BD

      And how do you think this could possibly happen?

      June 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
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